I don’t know about you, but I love a good book and I also love a good beer, so what could be better than a combination of the two? During this craft beer renaissance we have had the opportunity to try many new and exciting beers, but we are also fortunate that there are now vast libraries of books related to beer available today. Books ranging from homebrew recipes of favorite commercial beers to beer and food pairings to the history of certain breweries are all at our fingertips – literally, if you’re reading on a tablet device. Here is a nice starter list of great beer related books with brief introductions to each.
“The Audacity of Hops” by Tom Acitelli: This is a brand new and fantastic book if you are looking for a great history lesson on the current craft beer market. It has in-depth looks at some of your favorite current breweries and is a fascinating and quick read. It will arm you with a great amount of historical knowledge to drop during your next trip to the bar. The author also discusses the subject matter more from a business perspective than from that of a beer fanatic, giving the book a more authentic feel, making it more enjoyable overall.
“The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance” by Greg Koch: This is the compendium of everything Stone Brewing related and it is fantastic. Not only does this cover the history of how Stone came to be and grew to become the fantastic craft beer company that it is today, but it also includes recipes from its world-renowned café (try the Garlic, Cheddar, and Ruination soup), and if that wasn’t enough, it also includes recipes for nearly all of their fantastic beers. (Arrogant Bastard recipe not included.)
“Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink” by Randy Mosher: Hands-down one of the best books ever written about the topic of beer. This book breaks all the beers down into a variety of styles, gives short historical overviews, and has selections of great beers to try in each style. Mosher also examines what glassware to use with each beer, suggested food pairings, and goes into great detail on how one truly tastes beer, hence the name. Read this and you will experience beer in a whole new, and amazing, way.
“How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right the First Time” by John Palmer: Are you interested in getting into the fantastic hobby of brewing your own beer but don’t know where to start? Then pick up this wonderful book by Palmer. The science of brewing is discussed in a manner that is not going to go over your head if you are new to the hobby, but is in-depth enough that you will be able to brew great beer right away.
“A Year in Food and Beer: Recipes and Beer Pairings for Every Season” by Emily Baime and Darin Michaels: This little book is great to have around the house for use throughout the year. There are some fantastic pairing suggestions, along with delicious recipes. What makes this book even more interesting is how it is separated into seasons for easy reference points throughout the year. There is also a chapter dedicated to beer and cheese pairings. A very good reference book to have in the kitchen at all times.
No matter what book you decide to read make sure you have a beer on hand as any of these selections will quickly make you very thirsty. Just be sure to choose something a little lower in the ABV, otherwise, you won’t be reading for very long.